This was an interesting assignment as my local group Hastings Against War just found a volunteer website maker to update our web page and needed to clarify what we wanted changed. We felt that an easy-to-remember domain address, an uncluttered home page with up-to-date contact information and notes on how to join in our events would help recruit new supporters, especially young people. So how have some other local groups fared with web sites? Bangor Peace and Justice www.bangorpeace.co.uk gives a clear explanation of the group and there was a good report on the November Faslane arrests with photos. Unfortunately it was billed as Stop Press for 14 November 2006 and there was nothing on 2007 events, raising doubts as to whether the group was still active. The “contact us” was a small link at the bottom of the page.
Brent Stop the War www.redmagic.co.uk/stopwar was right up to date with a public meeting planned for June and an invitation to subscribe to an email listing square in the face on the front page. This was a clear site with a group statement “What we stand for” under the sidebar link “Our View”.
Wrexham Peace and Justice Forum (www.wpjf.org.uk) showed lots going on and a list of ideas under “how to support us”. WPJF looks so active, it's hard to believe that anyone who wanted to be involved would not come across them at a stall or action in the streets.
South Somerset Peace Group (www.southsomersetpeace.infoac tion.org.uk) is a great example of a simple text home page with the exact information you need to get to their next meeting and a clear statement of what the group is about.
Eastbourne for Peace and Liberty (www.activeeast.org.uk/EAN/peacelibt.html) found a good home on Active East Network site promoting activism and networking.
EPL is the first link under Local Groups on the side bar. The photo of the group shows a crowd of young and old activists and the invitation to make contact is a large “email” link. Scrolling down takes a while to get to the current events but this is a good solution for a small group.
If I was new to an area I think the Brent site, closely followed by Wrexham and Somerset sites, would give me the information with the least effort. It was hard to find some groups on a Google search of the area name followed by “peace”, or “against war”. It is worthwhile making sure that the right key words are on the search engine, listing the group on the national Stop the War site, and linking with as many other relevant sites as possible.